If you look at the map of the Pacific Ocean right now, you will see something that appears to be a steaming Eye of Mordor staring right back at you. That hell beast is expected to do a ton of damage, and cream the Philippines when it makes landfall on Friday. Here's everything you wanted to know about the storm but were afraid to ask.
What Do We Call It?
So this storm actually has two names, which is why you may have seen people call it Yolanda and Haiyan. Yolanda, is what it's being called in the Philippines — where it's expected to hit. Haiyan is its Chinese name.
How Big and Powerful Is This Thing?
Well, look at it:
Yolanda is actually being called a "super typhoon" because of its size (the storm reportedly has a diameter of 500 miles), scale, and force— a typhoon turns super once its winds reach 150 mph. CNN says it's one of the strongest storms ever-recorded in history. And it has meteorologists freaking out:
Accuweather's Anthony Sagliani puts Yolanda's force into some perspective, and explains that it is packing winds stronger than some of the most powerful tornados on earth.
A bit more context: the Moore tornado this year had peak winds of 210 mph, Hurricane Katrina had wind speeds of 140 mph on landfall, and Hurricane Sandy had sustained wind speeds of 75 mph. And it isn't just the wind — some forecasters are predicting a storm surge that could reach up to 23 feet, USA Today reported. That's terrible for country's many islands and coastal communities.